Sports Medicine keeps athletes healthy year round

Sports Medicine athletic trainers use classroom knowledge on the fields of play to prevent and treat injuries.

Will Clark

More stories from Will Clark


Photo Courtesy of the Sports Med Team

The sports-med team huddles up before a sports event.

Wakefield is a school with a long standing athletic history. From two former State Champion men’s basketball team, State Champion men’s and women’s tennis teams, the playoff mainstay football team, and all the other competitive Wolverine sports teams, they all rely on one team to keep them healthy: Sports Med.

With Brent Dorenkamp, head athletic trainer at Wakefield for 12 years, in charge, students learn the basics of being an athletic trainer. Dorenkamp believes that all of the Sports Medicine classes are key in giving trainers the knowledge they need to perform on the fields and courts.

“In Sports Medicine I, we go into how injuries occur, special considerations like weather, and a lot of other general stuff,” said Dorenkamp. “When they get into Sports Medicine II, that’s when we start looking at each body part, mechanisms of different injuries, how to treat those injuries, and how to rehabilitate them. Each Sports Med class builds off the previous one to give each student a more well-rounded experience.”

Dorenkamp best describes what the student trainers’ responsibilities are to Wakefield’s sports teams.

“The student trainers’ responsibility is the general welfare of the teams,” said Dorenkamp. “This could include preparing athletes for practices and games, taking care of injuries that occur on the field or court, and then rehabilitation, giving them a really hands on experience.”

Senior Casey Sprague has been a Sports Med trainer for two years and thinks it plays a very important role to each of Wakefield’s teams.

“I think athletic trainers are important to any team,” said Sprague. “A player can’t play to his or her full potential if they are hurt.”

Sprague has had lots of experience in the past two years being a trainer on the sidelines to deal with in-game injuries.

“We have different groups of trainers go to different teams’ games,” said Sprague. “I have been a trainer for football, wrestling, and soccer more than any other sport.”

All of this experience is for what could be Sprague’s future profession in the medical field.

“The reason I started taking the class is because I am interested in becoming a physical therapist,” said Sprague. “Being in the classroom and getting hands on experience on the sidelines has really helped prepare me for the future.”

Dorenkamp thinks that Sports Med is the perfect class for someone interested in going into the medical field.

“I feel it does a great job at laying the foundation for all medical fields because of the terminology we learn,” said Dorenkamp. “It’s important to be able to speak the same language, and all the different medical fields speak that same language.”

Senior Stone Perry agrees that the Sports Med class has helped give him experience he could potentially use.

“I find the class very interesting,” said Perry. “It has helped a lot because it has given me medical experience that could help in everyday situations.”

Since Wakefield is the only school in North Carolina that is a member of National Honors Society of Sports Medicine, it is safe to say that Wakefield’s athletes are in good hands.